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The Ed Show

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Israel 22, Us 10, America 7, Westboro 6, United States 6, Boehner 5, Saxby Chambliss 5, Obama 5, Intermezzo 4, Michele Bachmann 4, John Boehner 3, Mr. Obama 3, Rob Portman 3, Jackson 3, Joe Biden 3, Ambien 2, Bachmann 2, United Nations 2, Michelle 2, Richard Wolffe 2,
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  MSNBC    The Ed Show    News/Business.  (2013)  

    March 22, 2013
    12:00 - 12:59am PDT  

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let me finish tonight with this. there are some very good signs from israel. it looks like the president and the prime minister of israel are on the same page now. both agree we can't let iran get nuclear weapons and both agree iran hasn't decided yet whether to build one and will take another year once the government in iran decides to go ainu direction. i have good hope in a number of grounds. one, the two countries are in agreement, and two, the mullahs in iran will see the united states ready to strike should they decide to build a nuclear bomb. why? there was no reason for the trip to israel unless the united states was ready for this to pound out this agreement between the united states and israel. the best result in this fight is over the other side, over in tehran. they get to see how serious we
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are. they see if they build a weapon, we come at them. if they know that now, it could change everything. that's "hardball" for now, thanks for joining us. "the ed show" starts right now. good evening. welcome to the ed show. i'm michael in for ed. tonight, john boehner backs off background checks. and saxby chambliss doesn't support gay marriage because he doesn't plan on having one. and a crisis somewhere you never believe and the best borrow baptist church gets a new neighbor. first, president obama calls on young israelis to embrace peace. this is "the ed show." as ed would say, let's get to work. it was a passionate appeal for peace. after speaking with palestinians in the west bank, the president took his message to israel, delivering a major speech earlier calling for a two state solution in the middle east. this was the main event of mr. obama's first trip to israel as leader of the free world. the president delivering what
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the administration called the centerpiece of the visit. the speech wasn't given in front of the israeli parliament where his predecessor spoke at his first trip, given at the convention center before an audience of students. the president's message was clear, peace is possible but in order to secure peace and security for the jewish state, compromise is essential. >> negotiations will be necessary but there's a little secret about where they must lead. two states for two peoples. two states for two peoples. there will be differences how to get there. there will be hard choices along the way. for the moment, put aside the plans and the process, i ask you instead to think about what can be done to build trust between people. >> mr. obama reassured israelis of america's commitment but also delivered some tough love. >> i also believe it's important to be open and honest,
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especially with your friends. politically, given the strong bipartisan support for israel in america, the easiest thing for me to do would be to put this issue aside, just express unconditional support for whatever israel decides to do, that would be the easiest political path. but i want you to know that i speak to you as a friend who is deeply concerned and committed to your future. the only way for israel to endure and thrive as a jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable palestine. that is true. >> mr. obama made his case for brokering peace with the palestinians by painting it as a civil rights issue in personal terms. >> put yourself in their shoes. look at the world through their eyes. it is not fair that a palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of their own.
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spending their entire lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements not just of those young people, their parents and grandparents every single day. neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer. just as israelis built a state in their homeland, palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land. >> mr. obama also stressed the unbreakable alliance between israel and the utsz. >> make no mistake, those who adhere to the ideologically of rejecting israel's right to exist, they might as well reject the earth beneath them or the sky above because israel's not going anywhere. today, i want to tell you, particularly the young people, so that there's no mistake here, so long as there is a united states of america, [ speaking foreign language ] . you are not alone. >> the speech was reminiscent of
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remarks the president gave in cairo in 2009, something mr. obama himself took note of. >> four years ago i stood in cairo in front of an audience of young people politically, religiously, they must seem a world away. but the things they want, they're not so different from what the young people here want. they want the ability to make their own decisions and get an education and get a good job and worship god in their own way, to get married, raise family. the same is true of those young palestinians i met with this morning. the same is true for young palestinians who yearn for a better life in gaza. that's where peace begin, not just in the plans of leaders but in the hearts of people. >> this was mr. obama's chance to appeal to a new generation of israelis and to reach out to them in a personal way, something his critics charge he hasn't done before. in many ways it was vintage obama.
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the world witnessed the return of the hope and change go from 00:2from -- change guy from 2008. >> let me say this as a politician. i can promise you this. political leaders will never take risks if the people do not push them to take some risks. you must create the change that you want to see. ordinary people can accomplish compare things. >> get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question. will the middle east take president obama's message of compromise to heart? text a for yes, text b for no. 66672 or go to our blog. i'll bring you the results later in the know. i'm jointed by hillary lever vitt, professor of american foreign policy. she specialized in affairs at the state department during the clinton and bush administrations and joined by matt center for american progress. seems like i just spoke to you
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last night. tell us what this speech means. does this mean the administration is willing to put forth a serious effort towards brokering peace in the middle east and specifically between israelis and palestinians or is this a tremendous speech that doesn't have the substance necessary to carry forth? >> i think it is a speech that underscores obama's speech in rhetoric. unfortunately i don't think it was tremendous in substance. the key aspects what's really necessary for a two state solution, halt to settlements, that was completely dropped from obama's prior substance filled speeches. unfortunately this plan or idea isn't going anywhere. >> why did he drop it? didn't want to insult the israelis to their face? didn't want to challenge them that toughly? >> i think the whole trip was not to make peace in the middle east to make peace with congress at home to pursue a domestic agenda to get work done here in
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the united states, a realization he needs congress behind him and congressman and senators won't take politically difficult positions in domestic issues if they feel he is jeopardizing their back on israel. it was to have a good visit in israel and have good photo ops and have a better relationship with congress. >> interesting. we'll get back to that. the speech received praise from left leaning israel lobby is in the united states. israel's presidency simone perez was a fan. how is there regigering of the map because the geopolitics in that terrain are extremely volatile. what gives? >> i have to disagree with hillary a little bit. the president did specifically call out settlements as not conducive to peace in this speech today and referenced the may speech he made about border and security the 67 line speech he got a lot of criticism for. i was pleasantly surprised he didn't reference that as basis
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for negotiations. and many are asking will the president weigh in on this in a big way. the answer was yes, he we'd in a very impressive way. the question coming out of this what is the policy followed through? that's where the questions remain. i think what the president made clear today this issue remains high on his agenda, his analysis of the israel-palestinian conflict remains it is something that negatively impacts u.s. national security and u.s.'s ability to achieve its goals. at this point having done what he needs to do, assuring israelis of his own support to their security and committed to resolving this issue we might see a handoff to secretary of state kerry who will be remaining in the region. >> secretary of state john kerry was critical at this administration's lack of peace making. now that he's secretary of state does this auger well of new posture of diplomacy aimed toward creating peace in this volatile region.
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>> it would. it would be fortuitous. he was not president obama's first choice. that's not the strategy here. the strategy is focused on 2014 to get a domestic agenda done. if secretary kerry can make nice noises in the region, that's fine. >> you're kind of cynical. you think this is all smoke and mirrors. >> i was in it on both sides in the first clinton administration when there was a lot of fanfare in 1993, dialogue and direct negotiations would take off. they didn't until after clinton, after he was re-elected in the mid-terms in 1998, didn't take off until then. same thing in the george w. bush administration i was also a professional middle east advisor there. i just think it's not going to happen.
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there was no discussion here about halting settlements critical. you can say they're critical, make me uncomfortable. it's not talking about the 67 borders. those are things needed for the say. we get confused for our hope for peace and reality for a state. what palestinians want and need and arabs and muslims want and need is a state for the palestinians. whether peace comes, too, that's secondary. they want and need a state. the requirements for a state are 67 borders and halt to settlement activity. the other piece here that obama said clearly, i think should give us some caution, is the palestinians should drop their push to push this to the united nations and do it through this direct dialogue and direct negotiations and dialogue. >> not very likely. >> that's never happened. we had 20 years of direct dialogue. it's never happened. the key for the u.n. so critical for palestinians is they could
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take their state hood to the international criminal court and get a directive on the international human rights issue and preoccupation an president obama said no. >> given what the professor has indicated, do you think there's any possibility obama makes any progress. if all the conditions ex-exist for successful negotiations for peace, does it bolster israelis there and america sympathizers with israel and also want to see a broader push for palestinian rights to be acknowledged? >> i think what we saw today was, yes, this remains a key item on the president's foreign agenda. there were real questions whether he would weigh in on this. the answer is, yes. there are a number of questions given the breakdown and trust that occurred between israelis and palestinians in the past few years. the palestinian authority is in dire need of support, seen its credibility wane with its own people in relation to hamas. what will happen is secretary kerry will look for various ways, what are the ways back to the negotiations. i agree they focus on direct negotiations and the end itself
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is not productive, very possible that might not be the right move we're looking for ways for the palestinian authority to sustain them but not for two states. the goal is two states for two people. going back to what the president said today, a lot of people made the argument because of transitions of arab spring and revolutions and the war in syria, now is not the time for bold move towards peace making. what the president said today was the palestinian issue becomes more salient not less salient because of the changes we're seeing in the region and i thought that was pretty bold. >> you've already talked about the settlement issue. let's listen to what president obama said about israel stop building on the west settlement banks as a precondition to peace talks. >> if the expectation is that we
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can only have negotiations, when everything is settled ahead of time, then there's no point for negotiations. >> the president was also critical of the israel settlement policy. at this point, is compromise even possible, because he's standing in israel, saying they have to have some kind of negotiations, is that just great political rhetoric or mean anything that can have any substance and bite that challenges them to follow through on that?
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>> i think the idea of negotiations, any idea even of a peace process is very much about the domestic politics here to make us feel better about our policies there. to get a state is not something you beg and plead the occupier to give you. that's not how a state gets formed. it's unrealistic, we tried it for 20 years. it's failed. what obama is trying to do, in israel, went to ramallah and the west bank. he said the bare minimum what he needed to say to the palestinians but comes nowhere close to getting a state necessary to resolve the conflict and rescue america's broader position in the middle east. >> what would it have looked like had he been serious. >> it would have contained a clear reference to 1967 borders and clear reference to opposition settlement activity and not said clearly we oppose palestinians going through the united nations. that's the only way to avert violence. the only non-violent way out is to get their legal case heard before any international court. otherwise they will resort to violence and no way to get out of the occupation. >> this is powerful. i want to thank hillary and matt for their tremendous contributions tonight. remember to answer tonight's questions at the bottom of the screen and share your thoughts on twitter and facebook. i want to know what you think. vice president biden has not given up on assault weapons ban. next. herbal essences smooth and shine collections are back and more irresistible than ever.
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a taste of their own medicine. he joins us later. make sure to join ed schultz in his new time slot, saturday and sunday p.m. welcome back. moms and dads whose children
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welcome back. moms and dads whose children were gunned down in the sandy hook massacre are asking congress to show courage
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tonight. instead, speaker john boehner is showing cowardness. joe biden and new york mayor michael bloomberg demand gun legislation. >> this is simple common sense. it will not solve every problem and not end every gun death but will substantially reduce it. and it matters. it matters. >> biden says congress should at least pass background checks universally. the latest poll shows 91% of americans support background checks for gun show sales. 83% of voters in speaker boehner's home state want background checks, too. yesterday, it seemed like john boehner agreed. >> do you think background checks, improving background checks might be part of that? >> they should actually do a
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real background check on everyone and maybe the department of justice ought to enforce the law. >> boehner said he wants a real background check on everyone. right after the interview, cnn told us what the speaker really meant to say. >> i had to go back to his office and say, is he coming out in favor of an improved background check system. no, he supports the background system that exists to be implemented better. >> now, grieving parents are joining the vice president to demand better of boehner and the best of congress. >> quite honestly, i'm really ashamed to see congress doesn't have the guts to stand up and make a change and put a ban on these type of weapons and universal background checks. >> what matters is people, leaders with moral courage. >> it must be awful being in public office and concluding that even though you might believe you should take action, that you can't take action because of the political consequence you face. what a heck of a way to make a living. i mean it sincerely.
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>> let's turn to daniel hernandez of people for the american way and john. welcome to the show. >> thanks for having us. >> mr. hernandez, tell us why boehner back tracked. what do you think happened between the interview he gave and subsequently clearing up the fact he's not for what he said he was for. >> it's one of those things it shows yet again the impact that the national rifle association has on capitol hill. tonight, i'm here as a member of the young elected officials network we put out a letter to combat that influence. there's 42 young elected officials from across the country said we cannot let the nra be the only voice causing even the speaker of the,000 go and change his opinion within 10 minutes of having given an interview. we need to combat the influence of the national rifle association and make sure it's not the only voice influencing the members of congress, that's the problem, not that anything changed he remembers he needs to
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keep the nra happy. >> if harry reid is not a victim of this nra lobby, as some people have argued, mr. graze, the senate majority leader released the statement tonight saying he started the process of bringing a gun violence bill to the floor and he adds, quote, i want to be clear any bill that passes the senate must include background checks. has senator reid gotten the message and perhaps standing up to the nra and other forces lobbying against such sensible legislation? >> sure. i have to say i know senator reid is catching a lot of heat for taking the assault weapons ban out of the bill. i don't place the heat on saturday reid, place the heat on senators who won't vote for assault weapons ban. he's counting votes. while the assault weapons ban is important when the public is ready and demanding change, a background check is probably the most important thing you do to save lives so we're very happy he said what he said.
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>> daniel, your life has been changed by gun violence. you helped save gabby gifford's life after she was shot two years ago. have you seen any change in america's attitude on gun control? >> i didn't see a change what happened in tucson. as a school board member, someone here in the local community having to take care of the children in my district, newtown was the really big wake-up cal. it's sad for me to see in newtown we're having the same kind of debates we had two years ago. i would have hoped after tucson when a member of the house was shot, members of congress would have woken up and said we need to do something. unfortunately it took a tragic incident where there was 26 people killed including 21st graders there seems to be an upswell and wake-up cal but a sad state of events in this country we have to wait until we're most vulnerable, our children are victims for us to act. >> it's a good point, mr. glaze.
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have we missed and opportunity to pass comprehensive gun laws in the wake of newtown? >> i don't think so. it took seven years to pass the assault weapons ban and get the brady bill enacted. i don't think it will take that law to pass a comprehensive weapons law. the senate will be out of session a couple weeks and we will have dozens of organizers and hundreds of folks who believe as we do because they experienced the loss of child or loved one or shot themselves, will do everything they can to make sure these changes happen. when the senators come back from recess april 8th, they will do more today to buckle down and do what the country is calling on them to do in overwhelming numbers. >> do americans believe we already have universal background checks? is that part of the problem here? >> absolutely right. not only does the general public think that's already the law
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everybody has to get a background check when at least 40% of gun sales are never subject to federal check the majority of nra numbers we took last summer believe that's the case. when you hear people say we don't need stricter gun laws it's because they believe the gun laws are stricter than they really are. >> that's important. education is important to do, when it comes to this issue people are confused, think, isn't that something already on the books, i hear the word background check, i assume they were checking everyone and one thing i noticed in my travels around the country this people 00people -- people think this is getting done. you can drive a truck through the loopholes. >> there has been consternation, people say, look, we just saw mr. obama in israel saying without being pushed, politicians won't do the right thing. should we push him more? should he be pushed more to make this narrative central?
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>> sure. i think the more pressure there is from the public having a once in a generation conversation how we deal with guns in this country, sure, i think they should be telling the president they support his work and want him to do as much as he can. i have to say as someone in the room today in city hall with mayor bloomberg and joe biden, doing as much as they can, i'm not sure they need a fire under them. the last time we had a weapons ban passed in the senate, who was in the room? joe biden. >> a lot of americans worry if they support this kind of lesslation they will be out of office soon. any truth to that? >> in november of 2012 the nra spent more than $100,000 on only seven races. six of their candidates lost. there arose this mythology in the 1994 election after we passed an assault weapons ban the democrats lost congress because of that vote. if you look back at that election day, a midterm election with a lot of stuff going on but the nra has fulfilled that myth.
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>> go ahead. >> we need to let members of congress know we have their backs in upcoming elections if they stand up and part of this conversation. we don't need to put pressure on the president and vice president, they're already leading this charge and mayor bloomberg and we need to have a conversation with those holding it up. >> well said. thank you for joining us. michele bachmann says she wants to kill obama-care before it kills us all. the big panel takes on her latest lycoming up. the white house tours aren't the only things being shut down because of budget cuts. find out how sequestration is making it harder to squeeze the charmin. introducing olay fresh effects' unstoppable skincare!
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we have a lot more coming up on "the ed show." stay tune. >> we have a party that is going to be inclusive and listen to people. >> that didn't last long. saxby chambliss blasts the inclusion effort on marital equality. why they refuse to change. >> will this hurt the economy? >> i don't know if it will hurt the economy or not. >> boehner plays dumb at the expense of the middle class. >> workers are losing 1/12th of their pay. >> that's 9,000 meals they won't have access to. >> they had to cut the toilet paper budget. >> there goes the neighborhood. the westboro baptist church gets friendly new neighbors. a live look at the equality house ahead.
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$50 savings card. call now! in the latest incarnation of republican humanity. senator saxby chambliss of georgia was recently asked if his stance on gay marriage had changed. he joked, i'm not gay so i'm not going to marry one. senator chambliss, who is retiring in 2014 instead of seeking a third term did not use his freedom to say anything more magnanimous. this comes in the wake of senator rob portman declares his support of gay marriage two years after his son, will, told him he was gay. one republican managed to maintain empathy after his own son's personal revelation. with that, we applaud him. with this reminder does it really have to happen to you personally or within your own family to have a little empathy and then another senator who makes a crass joke about it, not me, not my problem, reminds me
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of senator jon kyl discussing the health care bill in 2009. >> first of all, i don't need maternity care, so requiring that to be in my insurance policy is something i don't need and will make the policy more expensive. >> if i can object with my colleague, i think your mom probably did. >> okay. >> senator kyl has the floor. >> over 60 years ago, my mom did. >> getting a clearer picture, perhaps some republican lawmakers need to be gay to support equality or come out of the closet. they need to be gay to come out of the closet and des suit to understand the need for health care, unemployment insurance and retirement security and the like. let's bring in richard wolffe, vice president and executive editor of msnbc.com, michelle goldberg, contributing writer at "newsweek" and "the daily beast" and from the huffington most. >> a chance to say something a bit less ridiculous, even if he were not prepared to change his view, isn't that right? >> look, faced with being a
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member of what bobby jindal called the stupid party, they're very happy to continue being stupid, right? this doesn't in the end change where the republican party is headed. rob portman was a more important marker than saxby chambliss. what we saw in the election is one stupid candidate can brand the entire party because there's a significant group of that party that still thinks and talks like this. it does affect the whole group of them. unless they can correct this kind of behavior, unless they have the good sense and grease to correct it, they're going down as individuals and as party. >> good sense and grease indeed. michelle, this very issue,
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marriage equality is one of the prisms younger voters are judging the republican party. that's a shift the older republicans are not ready for. how are they doing? >> they're not ready for it and their whole party isn't ready for it. this is an example of the bind the republican party is in because while younger voters have changed and the country as a whole has changed. the republican party still hasn't. republicans may be more supportive of gay marriage than they used to be and still overwhelmingly against it. and i suspect the voters who will re-elect saxby chambliss are overwhelmingly against it. the republican party isn't just a prisoner of its leaders, also a prisoner of its base. >> ryan, you've spoken to senator portman about his shift. what can you tell us about what's going on. >> i asked him, do you wish looking back it hasn't taken this personal experience to get you to shift on this?
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he paused and said, well, it did, which to me is kind of an affirmation, i almost wish i had gotten here on my own but i didn't. he walked to the senate chairman and came back to the group of reporters i was with and elaborated on. it seemed like something he was already asking himself and explained it more. i've always been an budget wonk, economic growth and budget issues have always been the things i've focused on and where i was at and my mind was. reading between the lines, he was saying, look, i was just following the party line on this issue. it wasn't that having a gay son allowed him to look at the issue differently. it allowed him to look at it for the first time. i don't think he had ever given it a ton of thought before. what's sad about that. when it comes to issues of class for instance, we probably won't make a lot of progress with the republican party or a lot of
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democrats in the senate or house because they don't actually know poor people and working class people. it's much harder for them to identify with those folks. >> isn't it interesting, it's harder for them to identify with those folks yet and still, the republicans and conservatives more broadly are always saying identity politics are horrible don't let the existential experience be that. and here we have the existential experience being the basis for this. we don't have to be philosophers and aristotle that something is array. if it's bad for black and gay and transgendered and fem nith people, they ought to be wrong for all and should share in it. >> it would be good if democrats and republicans in congress could get to a policy position without identity politics without some existential experience with the particular situation but they don't.
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so the best you're going to do is put them in a situation where they actually are confronted with it. but when it comes to class, that almost -- that never happens unless it's on the area where they happen to meet a ticket taker. even that, because he's a government worker he's probably making a living wage. >> michelle and richard very quickly? >> the republican party, i don't necessarily buy the premise the republican party is the enemy of identity politics. >> of course not. >> they love to slam identity politics. there is no party a obsessed with cultural signifiers and also that is more obsessed with token figure heads. as much as they hate affirmative
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action, this is a party that's on the hunt for any plausible face that they can put on -- they can put on themselves that's not a grouchy old white man. >> yeah. richard. >> these aren't individual identity politics. these are universal values. civil rights here. maybe the other side think this is a stand for freedoms and opportunity and they have a different frame on universal values. in politics, you're never going to find enough of a mosaic to elect you, at least not statewide or nationwide. this is about human rights and civil rights and they know that and why rob portman is talking this way. >> let's shift gears and review the latest from congresswoman michele bachmann. >> the american people, especially vulnerable women, vulnerable children, vulnerable senior citizens now get to pay more and they get less. that's why we're here.
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we're saying let's repeal this failure before it early lil kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens. let's not do that. let's love people. let's care about people. let's repeal it now while we can. >> kill and love. wow. richard, this is the latest salvo on a dead issue, so to speak. other than base politics, what is congresswoman bachmann possibly up to with such a dramatic speech. >> i thought she was going to say, let's save the babies. she's michele bachmann. when she runs another time for the republicans presidential nomination, she is going to come out with stuff like this and probably again skew the arg toward the more crazy side in this context. what's interesting, clearly she has no sense this is achievable. they're not going to appeal obama-care. any with sense knows that. the language is hyped up and heated.
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if she thinks she can do what she did, by the way she failed at in 2012 and do it all over again, i would be less than surprised because that speaks to her mindset, which is perplexing. >> richard wolffe, michelle goldberg and ryan grimm, thank you so very much. >> thank you. >> next, budget cuts are getting really personal. find out whether the sequester is forcing some work others to byopt.
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michele bachmann's claim about obama-care was not the only lie she got caught making this week. on tuesday bachmann ran way from a cnn reporter to avoidancering her claim the obamas are living a lifestyle of excess. even bill o'reilly dissed her for that lie. and a pants-on fire ruling from politofact.
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from politofact. mary pat forston wrote. and she is on the house intelligence committee. god help the usa. with all the stupidity she espouses how does she get elected. and larry says, she is an insult to women. go away michelle. don't forget to like "the ed show".
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welcome back to "the ed show." sequestration is starting to hit home for millions of americans. for proof, let's take a look at some local news reports from all across america, courtesy of our friends over at buzzfeed. >> reporter: due to the sequester, small airports across the country are being forced to close their air traffic control towers because of budget cuts. >> civilian workers are losing more than 1/40th of their pay. >> head starts like this in washington county will be feeling the effects of this
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sequestration after they have to cut 5%, $150,000 from their 2012 fiscal year budget. >> there will not only be a loss in jobs, loss in air traffic. officials say that could lead to more job loss here. >> more federal employees will get more furlough notices this week because of sequestration. >> workers will be forced to stay at home without pay for a total of 22 days. >> reporter: that's 9,000 meals these low income students won't have access to. >> windsor, missouri had to cut toilet paper from the budget. workers have been forced to supply their own. wall street has been raking up record high after record high and unemployment recovering and the economy showing life in years. only two things could bring us back from the brink of this man made crisis. closing loopholes for corporate giants and rich folks or as the great rachel maddow said last night, repeal the sequester. will israel take president
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obama's message of compromise to heart? 67% say yes and 33% say no. up next, the equality house and how new neighbors are reacting to it. [ female announcer ] going to sleep may be easy, but when you wake up in the middle of the night it can be frustrating. it's hard to turn off and go back to sleep. intermezzo is the first and only prescription sleep aid approved for use as needed in the middle of the night when you can't get back to sleep.
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woman: what do you mean, homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods? [ heart rate increases ] man: a few inches of water caused all this? [ heart rate increases ] woman #2: but i don't even live near the water. what you don't know about flood insurance may shock you -- including the fact that a preferred risk policy starts as low as $129 a year. for an agent, call the number that appears on your screen. welcome back. real estate is all about location location. it's what drove our next guest to spend over 80,000 bucks on a house sight unseen.
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aaron jackson bought the house in topeka, kansas for its view of the westboro baptist church. now the church has a colorful new neighbor. take a look at the equality house. it sets across from the homophobic westboro baptist church a church made infamous for picketing funerals of soldiers and hate crimes. it all started when he heard the story of the 9-year-old who stood up to the church's notoriously extreme protesters. it was this photograph of joseph holding up a handmade sign counter protesting the church's message of hate that inspired jackson to take action and do research. while using google earth, jackson noticed a neighboring house was for sale. by the time he inquired that house was no longer available but there was one across the street and the idea for the equality house was born.
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when the weather got warm enough, jackson hired a firm to paint the house the colors of the rainbow gay pride flag. joining me now aaron jackson, this enterprising young man co-chairman of the enterprise for planting peace. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> aaron, you bought this house. you moved all the way from florida topeka. >> that's right. >> i'm sure you were watching over the rainbow and the wizard of oz. what were you hoping to achieve and what inspired you to do this? >> roughly 4,000 kids kill themselves. there's a message out there they're not good enough. my goal is to simply counter that message and to express pride and so that's why we're doing this. >> yeah.
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but you chose that house because you wanted to what, symbolically express your views in direct opposition to the bigotry that they represent. the optics on this are very very important, right? location, where you got the house and what you're looking at, that all says something about your politics there? >> absolutely. the westboro baptist church is the perfect child of being anti-gay. we figured no better place to go and better place to start changing that message was with the westboro baptist church. >> any bananas or tomatoes thrown at you from the westboro baptist church? >> no. they sent out vial tweets but other than that, pretty calm. >> what's the response been from the broad community. of course, when you do something like this, media is friendly to you or on your side, so to speak because there's such a huge divorce on both sides there. >> absolutely. the world community has come together and backed us up.
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it's been truly amazing. the local community on the national level and global community has all just center, mails of encouragement. it's been truly amazing. >> great. >> we feel honored. >> have you ever done anything like this before? not just buy a house but taking public stands in defense of ideas that help vulnerable people? >> my charity does many things. we have dewarming programs around the world. we have orphanages around the world. this is our first time, yes, taking a stance like this, such a direct stance. >> right. what's the value of that? what motivated you from moving from being a person that identified with the vulnerable but that you were so motivated yourself you dug into your own pocket and came up with the money to generate enough capital to buy this house because you were so moved. what is it about this young man's protest and the story of this church that really got you going?